Carbon output is a hot topic today (pardon the depressing pun). Unless you’ve been living under a rock on Mars, you have surely seen the increasingly urgent news about our planet’s climate crisis. Global warming is causing destructive wildfires, increasingly violent storms, dangerously rising tides, and more. These scary aspects of climate change are due in large part to the human burning of carbon fossil fuels.

If we want to have a habitable place to live for the future we can’t count on some billionaire to colonize the moon. Earth is all we’ve got, so we need to quickly take action on the matter of carbon emissions.

Numerous countries around the world are starting to enact legislation to either force industries to become cleaner or incentivize them via taxes. The European Union recently proposed a carbon border tax that would essentially tax carbon emissions on goods made outside of the E.U. A similar idea is being floated in the United States.

The talk about carbon output often focuses on “dirty” sounding industries or obvious culprits like gas-guzzling SUVs. Celebrities proudly renounce the idea of flying on private jets in the name of reducing greenhouse gases. But there’s an inconvenient little secret that doesn’t get much attention: e-commerce logistics is one of the biggest carbon culprits, contributing to 10% of the overall global carbon footprint.

carbon emissions

Explaining the Problem E-commerce Logistics

While e-commerce shopping is considered to be more carbon-efficient than shopping in brick and mortar stores, e-commerce is still a major carbon outputter. Goods are often shipped to faraway places where there aren’t very green options for delivery. Additionally, returned items are more common with online shopping than with in-person shopping (it is difficult to gauge how that bikini will look without trying it on, after all). Those returned items end up making a long shipping journey twice.

Consumers are starting to become more mindful of their carbon footprint, but most would not be willing to give up online shopping, especially during pandemic quarantines. Thankfully there is now a way for e-commerce retailers to meet their consumers’ desires to be greener.

A Step To Greener Fulfillment

Manifest is a fulfillment solution principled upon carbon neutrality (as well as zero plastics and other sustainable practices). Manifest partners with Eco-Cart to provide carbon offsets that ensure carbon neutrality from end to end. If you’ve always wondered what the heck that actually means, you’re not alone. A carbon offset is basically money funneled towards projects that will counteract the carbon output of the purchase. Organizations like Eco-Cart use these funds to support projects like forestry and renewable energy.

A passion for climate action is what brought the Manifest team together, and now we need your help. As an online retailer, your concern for the environment is what will help us make a real change in the e-commerce logistics space. Learn more about joining our movement towards a greener supply chain.